WI news anchor fires back after viewer calls her fat

A Wisconsin news anchor fired back Tuesday after receiving a viewer email attacking her physical appearance.
La Crosse, WI (WSYR-TV) -- A Wisconsin news anchor fired back Tuesday after receiving a viewer email attacking her physical appearance.

The email, from a Mr. Kenneth W. Krause, read, in part: “Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain.”

Jennifer Livingston, WKBT News 8 This Morning Anchor, says she tried to laugh off the attack on her appearance, but couldn’t.

Livingston decided to address the email after her husband, Mike Thompson, WKBT 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor, posted the email on his Facebook page. She says the post generated an overwhelming response in her defense – something she called “truly inspiring.”

While on air, she said she didn’t need a letter to point out that she was overweight and says her character is made up of more than just numbers on a scale.

“To the person who wrote me that letter...You don’t know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family... You know nothing about me, but what you see on the outside,” she said. “I am much more than a number on a scale.”

Livingston used the email to address the issue of bullying. She says what angers her the most is that the Internet has become a weapon and as parents we need to teach out children to be kind, not critical, and we need to do that by example.

Livingston concluded with a message to children who may be feeling lost or that are struggling with their weight, the color of their skin, their sexual preference or whatever.

She said, “Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies. The cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”

Livingston's on-air response to viewer email:

According to WKBT’s website, Krause responded to Livingston’s video with the following statement:

"Given this country's present epidemic of obesity and the many truly horrible diseases related thereto, and considering Jennifer Livingston's fortuitous position in the community, I hope she will finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of Coulee Region children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year, and, to that end, I would be absolutely pleased to offer Jennifer any advice or support she would be willing to accept."
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